Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. -Psalm 73:1-3 (KJV)
For a number of years now I have adopted a philosophy which may seem harsh, but it has a way of keeping my expectations about life in check. That philosophy is this: life isn’t fair, so don’t expect it to be. Why is it that we are so surprised when trials and difficulties come to us? Do we honestly believe that we should be able to live our lives without trouble, problems, crises, or disappointments? If we take such an unrealistic view of life we are setting ourselves up for serious discouragement, for problems and heartache are going to come to us all, for this is part of the human experience. While my philosophy seems harsh, it’s kept in balance with faith in the Living God who is aware of our problems and is able to give us strength and spiritual power to not just get us through, but to lead us forward in victory.
The psalmist in Psalm 73 was trying to come to terms with an age old question regarding the unfairness of life. He confessed that he actually began to be envious of foolish and ungodly people, for they seemed to not have the problems that he endured. We can easily begin to feel the same way. We might look around and notice that there are a lot of ungodly people in the world who do not appear to have the depth of trouble that we have as followers of Christ. We are struggling with financial problems, but they are rich. We have sickness, but they look healthy. We are depressed, but they are cheerful and happy. But is that a true picture of reality? The answer is, of course not. Unbelievers also have financial problems, life-threatening illnesses, and they too suffer from depression.
The inequalities of life began to make sense to the psalmist when he humbled himself in worship before God: “When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end” (Vv. 16, 17). As the psalmist sought the Lord he began to realise that believers have in their lives something that unbelievers do not, and that is the power of God to help and sustain them through the trials of life. Let us never be tempted to envy those without Christ, for they are lost and wandering without the Savior.
Whatever you are facing today, rise up in faith and the power of the Holy Spirit and walk forward in spiritual victory. Jesus is greater that any problem we will ever face. Look to Him today.